Children’s summer camps and wilderness programs for boys and girls in the United…

June 12, 2017

The Best Summer Camp in America (6) – Camp size matters

This is the sixth article in a series of ten on Choosing the Best Summer Camp in America.

kids at summer campWhen Choosing a Summer Camp, Consider its Size

The “size” of a summer camp can mean the size of the facility or how many campers it can accommodate.

Enjoy the Outdoors

Many of the established traditional camps are lucky enough to have large facilities with substantial acreage. They’re able to provide a quality summer program without having to travel, although some larger ones still take numerous trips. A large complex with natural resources like lakes, trails, activity fields, etc., provides a base to learn beginner-level skills before venturing out to more advanced trails, climbing areas, and whitewater rivers. A smaller space can still be the base for a quality program if the camp management has nearby access to State and National Parks and forests. The scope of activities may not necessitate a large expanse. If the program is focused on the arts, rather than an outdoor program, it is more important to have quality infrastructure for that program than having access to wide open spaces.

How Many Campers Attend Your Child’s Summer Program?

The size of a camp can also refer to the number of campers during a particular session. A larger space has the advantage of being able to offer a broad range of program choices that might not be feasible with a smaller group which may have the advantage of a higher degree of individual attention. If a camp is huge, let’s say 500 or 750 participants, it can seem smaller if there are meaningful ways to segment the group. It’s important to ensure campers in these smaller segments are still getting the full camp experience.

What Programs Are Available at Your Kid’s Camp?

As you consider where your child will spend their summer, make sure administrators take measures to be sure kids don’t get “lost in the crowd,” regardless of camp size.  If considering a large camp, ask if your child will be able to participate in all of the activities that he or she chooses. Sometimes kids will get “closed out” of popular activities if they don’t sign up quickly.

Questions to ask:

  • Do campers ever get closed out of an activity?
  • What steps are taken to be sure a camper doesn’t get “lost in the crowd”?

How to Choose a Summer Camp

Ten things to consider when searching for the best camp for your child:

  1. Family decision
  2. Philosophy
  3. Program
  4. Cost
  5. Consider the Location
  6. Camp size
  7. Camp staff
  8. Standards & accreditation
  9. References
  10. Facility

When you’ve decided the best-sized camp for your kids, can help you choose one of the many in the United States and Canada.